For a quick answer, let’s go to the dictionary. Websters online dictionary. It’s quicker than finding my paperback.
This is what comes up.
1 obsolete : outcome, result
2a : degree or measure of succeeding
b : favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence
3: one that succeeds
2a and 3 can go right to hell because they use the word itself in the definition, which is no help whatsoever.
Definition one is vague as balls. An outcome or result could be positive OR negative. I don’t know about you, but I don’t call a negative outcome a ‘success’.
So we’re really only left with 2b. favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence
Let’s scratch that last part, we are talking about success as it pertains to writing. At least I am. Wealth doesn’t have anything to do with it, if you’re writing for wealth, you’re in the wrong line of business. Favor and eminence go along with that. Very few writers become common household names. If you expect that, the odds say you’re going to be disappointed.
So that whittles it down to ‘a favorable or desired outcome’. Well that’s still pretty vague, yeah? And just what IS that outcome?
Well to answer that, you have to look within yourself.
My first success is when I finished the first draft of my book. But that’s a minor one. I don’t think I will consider myself to be a successful writer until I have the luxury of writing 40 hours a week as a full time job. THEN, I will be successful.
But there are many stages to success. Another one is when I sell my first book, then you divide that into self-published and traditionally published. First fan mail? First hate mail. First review on any website.
What is your ultimate goal of success?